Oh how I love my kettlebell! If there is any ONE thing you should invest in to become a stronger runner I’m going to tell you it’s a kettlebell.
Kettlebells are weighted balls/bells with a handle that you can swing, lift and curl with for a fantastic strength training workout. I got mine for about $35 at SportChek, but you can find these pretty much anywhere nowadays. I’ve even seen them at Canadian Tire, WalMart, and Target in the fitness section, or you can order them online from Amazon. You can even buy some that you can adjust the weight on so that you always have the correct amount of resistance. They’re not all that expensive, and they sure can help you to become a much stronger runner with very little time investment.
Let me say it again… I love my kettlebell!
Working out with a kettlebell isn’t all that difficult either, though I should warn you that you MUST warm up properly before swinging it around, if you don’t you risk getting very injured. Not sure what to do with a kettlebell? Don’t worry, I’ve put together this handy workout and tutorial for you so that you can do a good full body workout in only 15 min.
To do this workout, you will need a kettlebell, proper shoes and a timer. I like to use the gymboss timer app on my phone, though any watch will do. Set your timer for 40 sec work intervals with 20 sec rest interval for a total of 15 rounds. Do a 10 minute warm up before beginning this routine. I like to run stairs and do jumping jacks to warm up. You then do each exercise once for 40 seconds, followed by a 20 second rest before moving to the next exercise. After you’ve done each exercise for 40 seconds repeat the circuit two more times.
Kettlebell Squat Cleans
Stand gripping a kettlebell on the handle with two hands both in an overhand grip. Feet should be just beyond shoulder width with feet sticking slightly out to the sides. The first step of the clean is a deadlift; however this has to be more explosive than a normal deadlift as the weight needs to travel all the way up to your chest. As you complete the deadlift portion, of the lift, be sure to keep your midsection tight and your back straight. Pull the kettlebell up towards your chest, without letting it get too far away from your body. As the kettlebell approaches chest height, let go of the handle, and catch the kettlebell underneath the bell portion in the bottom of a squat (so your thighs are below parallel). Proceed to complete a strict front squat: keeping the butt back, chest up, eyes straight ahead, mid-section tight, back straight, and not allowing your knees to go past your toes.
*Be sure to go down below parallel then rise back up to a full standing position.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out, and knees slightly bent; look straight ahead. Hold your kettlebell between your legs using a two handed, overhand grip. Keeping the arch in your lower back, bend your hips back until the kettlebell is between and behind your legs; squeeze your glutes to extend your hips and swing the weight up. Let the weight swing back between your legs as you bend your hips and slightly bend your knees; if it hits you in the butt, you’re doing it right. Extend your hips and knees to reverse the momentum as you immediately begin the next rep.
Kettlebell Goblet Squats
The kettlebell is perfectly moulded for the goblet squat because you can hold it around the side handles and keep it nice and contained against the chest. Grab your kettlebell and lift it to your upper body, keeping it close to the chest. Squat down as low as you can whilst pushing your butt out and looking ahead at all times. Pause for a second, then then rise back to the starting position and repeat, while ensuring that you keep your elbows between your knees at the bottom of the squat.
Lunge with Kettlebell Press
Take a little less than shoulder width stance and hold a kettlebell in one hand. Position the kettlebell at shoulder level with your elbow tucked into your side. This exercise is basically a reverse lunge so instead of lunging forward, you will be going backward with your lead leg. Slowly step back with your lead leg while extending your arm and pressing the kettlebell up over your head. Slowly lower the kettlebell down while stepping back to the starting position and repeat.
Kettlebell Push Press
Hold a kettlebell by the handle. Clean the kettlebell to your shoulder by extending through the legs and hips as you pull the kettlebell towards your shoulder. Rotate your wrist as you do so, so that the palm faces forward. This will be your starting position. Dip your body by bending the knees, keeping your torso upright. Immediately reverse direction, driving through the heels, in essence jumping to create momentum. As you do so, press the kettlebell overhead to lockout by extending the arms, using your body’s momentum to move the weight. Lower the weight to perform the next repetition.
Doing this workout three times a week will help you to develop leg and core strength, balance, hip mobility, and power. Essentially it’s a great combo of the key ingredients needed to become a faster runner.
This past Christmas, I invested in a tripod, shutter remote and an eye-fi card for my camera so I could do these kind of tutorials. Hopefully once the weather gets nicer I can do more of these outdoor so that you don’t have to stare at my Christmas decorations and messy toybox 😉 I had a lot of fun putting this workout together for you so I would love to know if you found this useful, and if you would like to see more of these kind of tutorials.
Have an active and healthy day!
Did you enjoy the workout?
What are your favourite resistance exercise tools?
Dumbells? Kettlebells? TRX? Bodyweight?